Hi there friends! Welcome to edition four of my interviews with inspiring women series! This week I am sharing my friend Many’s answers to my questions. I’ve known Many for I believe seven years now – eek! We became friends when we were both working for an organisation that empowered university students to take charge of their professional future. One of its mottos was “j’entreprends ma vie”, which loosely translates as “I take charge of my life”. We still use it jokingly, but Many is definitely living it!
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Can you please give us a quick intro to who you are and what you do?
Young dynamic manager, seeking personal fulfillment by helping others to develop and grow.
I am responsible for recruitment in a consulting company that specialises in the healthcare industries.
Where are you currently based?
Toulouse, but not for long…
What are you passionate about?
Good question… I have asked myself it many times, thinking that like everyone else, I had to have passions… There are many things I like to do, such as cooking for my friends, taking photos, playing music, but I do not consider them passions… So I think that to this question I would answer people. I am passionate about people! I like to observe, analyse and understand them. That’s why I love my job!
What does a typical day in your life look like?
A bit of difficulty getting up, then a quick exercise session, a big cup of tea, contemplating the sky or landscape, getting ready for my work day, taking public transport, reading my emails, communicating with colleagues, finishing my workday, taking public transport again, preparing dinner, eating it in front of a TV series to work on my English, getting ready for bed, going to bed.
What is your favourite and least favourite thing about what you do?
My favourite thing is the freedom that I am given to try to find solutions. It stimulates my creativity and responsiveness to problems.
What I don’t like is not being able to help people who need it.
What is your definition of success?
Achieving the goals I have set for myself and that it has an overall positive impact.
What has been your biggest “pinch me” moment in your life so far?
I think it was during my first big trip alone in China… I must have been 22 years old, I think… The moment when I looked through the window of the plane flying over the city of Xi’an and that I said to myself “that’s it, I’ve really done it, it’s time for adventure!”.
What’s the biggest change you have made in your life?
In connection with the previous question, I myself have not made a great change in my life, but it’s my experience of spending several months abroad that allowed me to change positively! I learned to be more tolerant, courageous, open, and communicative.
Which achievement are you most proud of?
My job search was quite long but I did not get discouraged and I did not lose sight of my goal.
At the moment I think that my greatest pride is finding a position in which I thrive, in which I was able to prove myself and has allowed me today to gain access to even better opportunities.
What is your next project?
Gain some stability in my new position and organize my next trip abroad.
What is your next big goal?
It’s a long-term project! Training in nutrition and opening a small business. Ideally it would be a “healthy” café with the aim of re-educating our relationship to food: eating well to be in good health.
What food or fitness choices help you to be healthy?
Thirty minutes of exercise and the juice of half a lemon in the morning!
Which habits or personality traits do you think have helped with your success so far?
My loyalty, involvement, creativity and collectivist spirit.
How do you stay organised and productive?
Staying focused is a pretty difficult thing for me! I usually list my tasks, listen to “motivational” playlists, and take breaks when I feel that my productivity is falling.
What is the best advice you have received?
“If you did the best you could, you did what you had to do.” It was my management teacher after an exam that I thought I had completely failed. This helped me later to not feel guilty in situations of failure and to appreciate my achievements, as well as to be more understanding towards others who are probably doing their best as well.
What is the worst advice you have received?
I think it goes back to the end of collège when I was told that I could not go to a certain lycée with a good reputation because I would not be able to keep up with its level. This influenced my choice of direction but I am now sure that I could have done very well. I should have trusted myself at that time and at least tried to do my best to make it happen.
What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
Trust yourself, you are full of potential!
What’s the one concrete action step that readers could start doing to be happier / more successful in their life, after finishing reading this interview?
Expressing their positive feelings. One sincere thank you day is enough!
What are you currently reading?
1984 by G. Orwell.
What app or website could you not live without?
Messenger: it allows me to chat, call and view my contacts almost anywhere in the world.
What is your favourite social media platform?
Instagram for the sharing, ease of use and “popularisation”, if I may say so, of photography.
What’s the one change you think would improve the world?
Stopping the production of weapons.
What small steps do you do, that contribute to making the world a better place?
Sorting waste since I was made aware of it at the age of ten. I still campaign with my relatives for it to be done correctly!
If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
If you could only watch one film or series for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Inglourious Basterds, maybe not the best of Tarantino but it still surprises me so I don’t get tired of it.
If you had to listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I think Reckoner by Radiohead.
What’s your favourite place you’ve travelled to?
I had the opportunity to go on great trips to Asia, Europe and the United States. To this question I think San Francisco, it was short but I felt good and I could see myself living there.
Which places are on your travel bucket list?
Cuba, soon I hope.
South East Asia, Taiwan, Laos, Vietnam.
Who would you recommend I interview for my next Interviews with Inspiring Women?
Maya!!!!! One of the smartest and most caring people I know.
But I’m sure you’ve already got that planned!
If people are interested in connecting with you, or following what you’re up to, where should they find you?
Instagram: many.yang and LinkedIn: Catherine Yang.
Share your thoughts
So that’s a wrap friends! Inspired by Many’s travels or ambition? If you weren’t afraid, where would you like to go / what would you like to do?